Local Listings as a Mobile Strategy
You must have a mobile-friendly website. The fact is, more people are searching for your business from their phone than a desktop. This isn’t just for brick-and-mortar, B2C businesses either. More and more B2B searchers are using their phones somewhere in their path to purchase.
What are you going to do about it?
For one, you need a mobile-friendly website. This is a non-negotiable. If you’re not already moving in this direction, stop reading this and get started (if you need a recommendation, contact me).
Even if you’re already started, this is going to take time. Sure, you could hire someone offshore and do it quickly, but I wouldn’t recommend that. Your website is your gateway to new customers; don’t cut corners. Take time and do it right.
While you wait, is your business going to suffer? Yes. Customers using mobile are not finding you. Even if they find your website, they might have a hard time using your site to reach you.
I have a suggestion that will help bridge this gap. Use your business’ local listings as a mobile web strategy.
What Is a Local Listing?
When I say “local listing” I am referring to a website dedicated to listing businesses. Often times these categorize companies by location and the type of business. Sometimes people call these “business profiles” or “local directories”. Here are some examples:
- Google MyBusiness
- Facebook (has a local listing product)
- Apple Maps
My suggestion: getting listed in sites like this will help your business, even if your mobile website isn’t ready yet.
Local Listings Help You Get Found in Google
There are a couple ways multiple listings can help you get found by a Google search.
Stack The Deck
Many local listings will show up in the search engine results. This helps customers reach you, even if they can’t find or use your website from their phone.
Sometimes local listings will show up in the SERPs for non-branded terms. If you optimize your listing you’ll find customers who aren’t yet acquainted with your company.
Of course, the more listing your business is in, the easier it will be for customers to find you.
So you’ve created your Google MyBusiness listing? That’s a great start! Just having that listing isn’t enough for people to find you. You must re-assure Google that your listing is correct. You do this with consistent address and phone numbers across several listings. Don’t just stop by submitting your business to Google.
Get Found by Customers through Mobile Apps
I once met a lawyer who had a mobile app. He had spent thousands of dollars to create an app, but nobody used it. I am NOT suggesting that your business needs an app. Your business needs to get submitted to the most popular apps on the web.
When your customers search for your location from their iPhone, can they find you? Can they find you from their car’s GPS? If not, submit your company to these services, too. No need to make an app; use the apps that are already out-there.
The Easy Way or the Hard Way?
There are two ways to submit your business to local listings. The hard way is manual.
- You need to find every website that could list your company and submit it.
- You need to find every website that has your incorrect address or phone number, and update it.
- You’ll need to submit your company to various app databases.
This takes a lot of time. Trust me, I’ve tried to do this manually. Want to see how hard it could be to do manually? Here’s a tool that will give you an idea.
The easy way is automated. There are several services that can help you with this. There are two kinds of services that might help you.
- Submission Services. You can give a service your business’ information and they will syndicate it to several databases. From these databases websites and apps will create a listing for you. Infogroup, Axciom, Localexe and even Moz provide these services. The problem: once you’ve submitted them, you can’t make changes to your listings. You can pay to submit your business a second time, with updated information. Then you’ll create duplicate listings. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to Google MyBusiness. Multiple submissions can hurt your efforts to reach customers.
- Maintenance Services. You can pay for a service that not only submits your business but allows you to maintain the listings. This means you can change your information from one dashboard and it passes to all your listings. This helps provide fresh information to these listings. That will help you show up in Google more often (Google loves fresh content). It will also help keep customers updated with holiday hours or seasonal specials. In my experience, the best maintenance service I’ve found is Yext.
Continues to Help After You Have a Mobile Site
The best part of this strategy: it continues to help even after you’ve launched your mobile site. Customers will keep looking for you on their apps. People will still click on other listings (besides your site) in the SERPs. Investing in local listings now isn’t wasted effort in the future.
Want to use the Yext platform to create and manage local listings? Willing to save money by managing it yourself? You should consider Reliable Acorn’s Greenthumb plan. This gives you all the benefits of a maintenance service at a low monthly cost.